Regional River Gravel Management Plan
The Operative Regional River Gravel Management Plan (2110KB, pdf) manages the effects of river gravel excavation, excluding extraction in the coastal marine area. Sand and shingle are minerals that are in demand for roading and industrial uses. Bay of Plenty Regional Council has a responsibility to control the adverse affects arising from the excavation of river gravel.
Bay of Plenty Regional Council has an interest in managing the extraction of gravel from rivers for river and flood management. For those rivers where there are major flood control schemes, for example the Rangitaiki, Whakatane, and Waioeka-Otara, planned gravel removal at specific locations is viewed as necessary to promote free passage to flood flows and for the maintenance of the schemes. The plan seeks to protect environmental values while providing for the maintenance of flood flow capacities by promoting excavation from the dry parts of the bed and limiting excavation levels to natural supply.
The Regional Council presently allows gravel extraction from approximately 60 sites, although not all are worked at any one time. For further information, contact a river engineer at the Regional Council.
See also the River Gravel Management Guidelines.
The Ngā Whakaaetanga-ā-Ture ki Te Taiao ā Toi (Statutory Acknowledgements in the Bay of Plenty) is a compendium document to be read as an attachment to a nd in conjunction with the Operative Regional River Gravel Management Plan including proposed regional plan or policy statement, and any variation or change notified by the Bay of Plenty Regional Council. Check out the Statutory Acknowledgements webpage for more information.
Review of the Plan
A review of the Plan was completed in April 2011. Following the review the Strategy, Policy and Planning Committee of the Regional Council decided (under Section 79(6) of the RMA 1991) to alter the Plan. Work is now underway on drafting changes and will be presented back to the Committee for approval to proceed. Comments from stakeholder and interested parties would then be sought on the draft plan. Following this the Committee will need to decide whether to proceed with notifying a proposed plan for formal submissions.
Key findings of the review
The review highlighted:
- That overall the Plan has performed well in meeting its purpose
- Issues with the restrictions the rules place on the quantity of gravel permitted to be extracted and gravel extracted from wet areas of a river
- Support for incorporating the Plan into the Regional Water and Land Plan
- Planning documents for river gravel management are more numerous and complex than they need to be
- Relevant organisations such as tangata whenua, Department of Conservation and Eastern Region Fish and Game Council seek greater involvement in the planning of river gravel management activities.
Other matters also raised included ownership of gravel, the impact of gravel extraction on drinking water quality, having regard to statutory acknowledgements and working more closely with tangata whenua, avoiding processing duplicate consent applications for river gravel related activities, aggradation and better protection of tuna and significant bird nesting sites.